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Inter-individual differences in the gene content of human gut bacterial species

Overview of attention for article published in Genome Biology (Online Edition), April 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)

Mentioned by

31 tweeters
1 Facebook page


99 Dimensions

Readers on

243 Mendeley
3 CiteULike
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Inter-individual differences in the gene content of human gut bacterial species
Published in
Genome Biology (Online Edition), April 2015
DOI 10.1186/s13059-015-0646-9
Pubmed ID

Ana Zhu, Shinichi Sunagawa, Daniel R Mende, Peer Bork


Gene content differences in human gut microbes can lead to inter-individual phenotypic variations such as digestive capacity. It is unclear whether gene content variation is caused by differences in microbial species composition or by the presence of different strains of the same species; the extent of gene content variation in the latter is unknown. Unlike pan-genome studies of cultivable strains, the use of metagenomic data can provide an unbiased view of structural variation of gut bacterial strains by measuring them in their natural habitats, the gut of each individual in this case, representing native boundaries between gut bacterial populations. We analyzed publicly available metagenomics data from fecal samples to characterize inter-individual variation in gut bacterial species. A comparison of 11 abundant gut bacterial species showed that the gene content of strains from the same species differed, on average, by 13% between individuals. This number is based on gene deletions only and represents a lower limit, yet the variation is already in similar range as observed between completely sequenced strains of cultivable species. We show that accessory genes that differ considerably between individuals can encode important functions, such as polysaccharide utilization and capsular polysaccharide synthesis loci. Metagenomics can yield insights into gene content variation of strains in complex communities, which cannot be predicted by phylogenetic marker genes alone. The large degree of inter-individual variability in gene content implies that strain resolution must be considered in order to fully assess the functional potential of an individual's human gut microbiome.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 31 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 243 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 <1%
Denmark 2 <1%
Belgium 2 <1%
Brazil 2 <1%
Sweden 1 <1%
France 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Russia 1 <1%
Japan 1 <1%
Other 1 <1%
Unknown 229 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 61 25%
Researcher 50 21%
Student > Bachelor 33 14%
Student > Master 26 11%
Student > Postgraduate 15 6%
Other 37 15%
Unknown 21 9%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 94 39%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 50 21%
Immunology and Microbiology 21 9%
Medicine and Dentistry 14 6%
Computer Science 7 3%
Other 27 11%
Unknown 30 12%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 17. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 July 2017.
All research outputs
of 13,631,079 outputs
Outputs from Genome Biology (Online Edition)
of 3,035 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 226,723 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Genome Biology (Online Edition)
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,631,079 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,035 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 23.8. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 66% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 226,723 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them